OMG it’s Givematcher!

Despite the exciting title this isn’t a piece about Gen Y babies or Millenials making wild exclamations (OMG Oh My God!). Instead it’s a chance for us to take a look at something that is changing the way that companies are practicing philanthropy – Open Matched Giving (OMG).

Financial giving  and philanthropy is one of the most recognisable features of an organisation’s Corporate Social Responsibility program. Companies can get their employees to volunteer, or base internal processes on a social ROI, however “Company X donates $10 million to charity” always makes the headlines and good spin can be added to the story at no extra cost. One aspect of corporate philanthropy is matched giving, which sees companies matching dollar for dollar, funds donated by their employees. As discussed in a previous Sustaining People article Dial T for Telstra, this alignment of corporate funding with employee donation enables integration of employee values with those of the company. This in turn enables a more effective and productive workforce – not to mention increased goodwill as a great social return on investment. Plenty of large corporates in Australia like Investec, Macquarie Bank, Ernst & Young and Westpac all manage similar matched giving programs internally. Internationally, GE, Boeing, BP, ExxonMobil and Johnson & Johnson all take part in similar programs through Double the Donation but like some Australian programs, these are tightly controlled and often don’t give individuals the opportunity to choose where their money goes.

This is where Givematcher comes in. Having come online only four months ago, Givematcher allows individuals to donate money to a cause or charity, and then gives them the opportunity to choose which corporate partner they want to match donations with. This ‘Open Matched Giving’ gives consumers much greater control over the impact of their dollar. At the click of a button, you can support cancer research and then get your favourite company to donate the same amount. Other similar groups like Charities Aid Foundation have been around for a while, however Givematcher is the first of its kind to allow donors to choose a corporate sponsor in addition to the cause.

The disadvantage of presenting a large pool of potential causes/charities is that it can dilute the effectiveness of the total financial resources donated. There is also some disagreement with the transparency of the OMG theory, with some older reports saying that it is not doubling a donation, it is in fact restructuring a gift from a corporate entity that was probably going to happen anyway.

Franck Demoiseau is the Co-Founder of Givematcher, and until recently was the Chief Operating Officer of BNP Paribas, a global French bank. Demoiseau decided on starting this type of organisation to maximise his social impact, and the impact of corporate bodies in the community. Using his concept of Open Matched Giving, Givematcher is enabling companies to leverage their marketing and social recognition drivers to great benefit. He also goes on to say that matched giving programs and “actual support for social causes  are key deciding factors in brand selection, as well as essential factors in staff engagement and retention”. You can read more about Demoiseau’s journey in his interview with the Australian Business Review.

Happy donating! OMG!

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